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Karen Allendoerfer

Back to violin again--sort of

March 21, 2007 at 2:24 PM

So, the Bach double. The music director wants us to play it in May. Cool! But the Bach double is for 2 violins, not 2 violas . . . so I took out the little toy with the bouncy bow again last night.

Wow. That's what it felt like, a little toy with a bouncy bow. Sounded a little like that too, unfortunately.

Somewhere, sometime in the past 3 months without my really realizing it, I became a violist. When I first started playing the viola, I felt like an impostor: I couldn't sight-read worth squat, the clef was weird, the instrument was heavy and produced tension in my neck. But it's feeling much more natural now. And my playing sounds *so* much better on viola I just can't even describe it here. I've gone over to the dark side.

Can one play the Bach double on the viola, down a 5th? How would it sound? My friend is a violist too, so we could do it. We should just give it a try and see what we think.

Also, what are the best D and G strings for a rich, dark sound on the violin? I am not going to be able to afford a real violin hardware upgrade for several years, and it may not be possible to play everything I want on the viola, so since I have to make do with this one for a while, how can I maximize it?

From Anne Horvath
Posted on March 21, 2007 at 6:56 PM
Welcome back to the wonderful world of the E string. If you play the Bach Double, be sure to snag the second violin part. That is the good one. And please, please, play it on the violin.
From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on March 21, 2007 at 8:49 PM
Yeah, I agree, the 2nd violin part is better. I learned both parts, all 3 movements, a long time ago, so it doesn't matter to me in terms of preparation. It was interesting taking out the old parts and seeing all my former teacher's markings and bowings on them. He passed away a few years ago and this brought him back to me.
From Mendy Smith
Posted on March 22, 2007 at 5:32 AM
Welcome to the Dark Side!!! You can find the 2nd (I think) violin part transcribed for viola in Suzuki Book 6. It works well with the 1st violin part. When I was taking lessons in CA, my teacher would play along with me on her violin (from her violin Suzuki book - don't know which violin book it was from).
From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on March 22, 2007 at 11:23 AM
Thanks Mendy! That could be a good compromise. But I may end up arguing with my partner about which one of us gets to play the viola (and the 2nd part, which I agree is better). Like me, she is a violinist-turned-violist, and viola is the instrument she mainly plays professionally.

I'm really, honestly, taking my violin to the luthier today, after putting it off and off. Maybe there is something that can be done to make it sound better.

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